It was a well-done fundraiser.

On Friday, June 2, a Charity Steak Night for the Shriners Hospitals for Children—Canada at the Windsor Tavern in Vankleek Hill raised more than $3,000. The Shriners Hospitals, which treat children for a variety of serious medical conditions, are located across North America. The only Canadian location, which is the beneficiary of the Vankleek Hill fundraiser, is located in Montréal. In 2022, there were 700 appointments at the Montréal hospital for children from Ontario alone.

According to organizer Don Dubois, 140 to 150 people attended the event. The number of people exceeded the seating capacity of the tavern, so they had to sit on the patio or under a tent outside.

The Charity Steak Night was hosted by Tim Thompson and Chris LeBlanc of Lite 106.7 FM in Hudson. Popular local band 50 Proof provided entertainment. Funds were also raised through silent auction items. Several Shriners, whose fraternal organization owns and operates Shriners Hospitals, attended, with members from Cornwall, Montréal, and Hudson making the trip to Vankleek Hill. Dubois said many people drove from the West Island to enjoy a steak and support the Shriners Hospital.

“So many people came from out of town,” he said.

Mike Keys of Hudson is a Shriner and a member of the Montréal hospital’s board of governors. He attended with events specialists Jennifer Bradley and Cassandra Poirier of the hospital. Both of them assisted with preparations for the event and activities that evening.

Champlain Township Mayor Normand Riopel and Glengarry-Prescott-Russell Member of Parliament Francis Drouin attended the Charity Steak Night. Drouin took the opportunity to present a certificate of appreciation to Joanne Cardinal of Sainte-Anne-de Prescott who, with her late husband Réjean, organized the annual Dérick’s Pancake Day fundraiser for many years in memory of their late son Dérick. The pancake event raised about $150,000 for the Make a Wish Foundation over ten years and Dubois was a key part of corporate fundraising efforts for that organization beginning in 2013.

“The year after, I said, this is kind of fun,” Dubois remarked.

That enthusiasm led to Dubois becoming part of Dérick’s Pancake Day fundraising until the final event was held in 2019. He has organized other fundraisers for the family of a victim of a fatal vehicle collision, aid for Ukraine, breast cancer, and to rescue cats left homeless during the most difficult days of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Charity Steak Night for Shriners Hospitals for Children–Canada

50 Proof entertained at the Charity Steak Night. Photo: Louise Sproule